≡ Category Menu

Castille Soap

By Tania Reuben

What is Castille Soap anyway? Sounds strange. Sounds like something I don’t use.

My mom came for a visit a few years ago and wanted to be sure we had time to go to Trader Joe’s to buy some Castille Soap. I was not supportive. I have since become a fan.

What Is Castille Soap?
Castille Soap is a simple and pure vegetable based soap. Don’t let the name scare you. It originates centuries ago when soap was made in the Castille region of Spain from olive oil. By the early 1900’s the name Castille Soap had come to refer to vegetable based soaps.

This soap is pure enough that when you pick up the bottle the ingredients are simple and straight forward. Water, Saponified Coconut, Olive and Palm Oil, Hemp Oil, Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, and Vitamin E.

The best known Brand of Castille Soap is Dr. Bronners. Dr. Bronner’s products score from 0-3 on the EWG list. And the Castille Soaps are typically a 2. Dr. Bronner’s is also Organic, fair trade and packaged in 100% post consumer recycled plastic. They are my brand of choice.

What do we do with this “Magic” (as Dr. Bronner calls it) soap?
– It’s a key ingredient in my All Purpose Green Cleaner. More cleaning formulas are coming! Check back often.
– I use it to clean my fruits and vegetables – add a few drops to a bowl, soak for a few minutes, rinse and enjoy.
– It can be used undiluted as a body wash and is gentle enough to use on your babies skin – my sister uses the unscented to clean her year old. Just be sure to use a few drops on a cloth, it’s very concentrated so you don’t need much.
– It can be used for laundry soap with a tsp of baking soda.
– I use it to make a foaming hand soap – I’m working on the exact formula – when I have it right I’ll let you know. In the meantime safe your foaming pump bottles when they are empty, you’ll need them for the foaming hand wash.

So there you have it. It’s not nearly as mysterious as it originally sounded. Now if my mom could have said “It’s a vegetable based soap named after the Castille region of spain” I might have converted years ago. A soap named after a region, sound very sophisticated. That sounds like something I have to try!

For the best selection, buy Dr. Bronner’s from Amazon.com. You can also find it at local organic markets and even at Target.

For an interesting take on “Real Soap vs Fake Soap”, check this out:

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Sheri Kirby August 11, 2009, 8:29 pm

    Good tips.  I’ve checked it out many times at the store and always wondered what exactly to do with Castle Soap.  Now maybe I’ll actually pick up a bottle.

  • Elizabeth November 15, 2009, 2:03 pm

    Castile soap is so gentle it makes for perfect baby soap, but remember it’s only Castile if it’s 100% Olive oil. MJ

  • Robin January 30, 2010, 3:10 pm

    I adore castille soap, especially Dr. Bronner’s. It doesn’t dry your skin out like regular soap does, it foams beautifully without sodium laurel sulfate, and the scents are natural and beautiful. My fave is the almond, with the peppermint a close second. I love these soaps!

  • SunCearRaye March 15, 2010, 8:49 pm

    I use castille soap often as a body wash.  I like the laundry detergent idea. 

  • Condo Blues March 21, 2010, 11:10 am

    I love castile soap too. It’s not as drying on our winter skin.

  • AJ April 5, 2010, 7:34 pm

    Palm Oil plantations are a leading cause of tropical deforestation in South East Asia, causing widespread ecological destruction, and rapidly leading towards the extinction of many species, including orangutans.  If you’re concerned about the environment, you shouldn’t even dream of using products containing palm oil.Green is a superb wildlife documentary on the subject – you can it watch online.  If you don’t have 48 minutes to spare to see the film, this Greenpeace website is one of many with more information on the environmental disaster that demand for palm oil is causing.

    • Tania Reuben April 5, 2010, 7:51 pm

      Traditional Castille Soap is made with Olive Oil. Although the mainstream brands of Castille Oil do use coconut oil.
      I choose Castille Soap for it’s lack of toxicity and purity. It is the base of many homemade products I make for our family – at a significantly reduced eco impact over purchasing conventional or Eco friendly brands.
      I use Dr. Bronners – which is certified fair trade and has this to say in response to your concerns.
      If you have a readily available alternative – I’d love to try it! I’m all about learning and trying new things!

  • Candice June 4, 2010, 3:49 pm

    I use Dr. Bronner’s in all of our hand wash foaming pump bottles. I do a little less then half of the bottle with soap and then the other half water. Make sure to mix it well (don’t shake) and voila instant hand soap. I have my brothers and parents hooked on it as well. I have ecxema and use the bar soap for my skin. The lavender scented is really nice, but you can get the mild unscented add your own essential oils to it. I find that some of the scents are a little overpowering even diluted. In other words we are huge [Dr. Bronner’s] castille soap fans.

  • theholisticchick August 18, 2010, 10:47 am

    Dr. Bronner’s is the best.  The Peppermint Castille soap works wonders on your teeth.  Its weird at first because its foamy, but your teeth are so clean afterwards.  Its also amazing to use on your hair, especially if you color or perm.  You literally can clean your entire body with Dr. Bronners.  I only use the peppermint on my teeth but for the rest of my body I love the lavender.

  • Jeaneen January 15, 2011, 9:39 am

    Yes — I love Castille soap and I use it for my acne face wash. Dessert Essence make the best Castille soap called Throughly Clean. I’ve tried expensive products before (Proactiv) and they worked for a short time. But I’ve had the most success with Throughly Clean and it’s reasonably priced too.

Leave a Comment